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Founding Principal Of Mercy Dies; Kane Was 92

Founding Principal Of Mercy Dies; Kane Was 92
Founding Principal Of Mercy Dies; Kane Was 92

John "Jack" Kane, the founding principal of Mercy High School in Middletown who died April 28 in Florida, left his mark in countless ways -- as a priest, an educator, a husband, a father, and a grandfather.

After resigning from the priesthood he and some partners built Stuart Convalescent Center in Stuart, Fla. They sold the center to Eden Park Management, Inc. of Albany, N.Y., according to his obituary, and in 2001 he resigned from Eden Park after 34 years of service as Senior Vice President responsible for the company's Florida operations.

He was ordained a Catholic priest Dec. 26, 1952, and among his assignments was at St. Mary's Church in Portland, where he was an Assistant Pastor and Principal of St. Mary's School, which sent many girls to Mercy and boys to Xavier.

"John, Fr. John as I knew him, was the reason I chose to go to Mercy High School in 1966," wrote one person on his obituary page. "As soon as I met him and felt his love for the school I knew it was the right place for me. After meeting my parents only once before school began, he remembered their names at open house in October. He was a fantastic individual who cared about all those around him. ... I am keeping him and his family in my prayers."

Kane was born in Danbury on Jan. 6, 1928, the son of Michael and Eleanor Kane. He is a 1945 graduate of Danbury High School and attended Holy Cross College, Fairfield University, St. Thomas Seminary and St. John's Seminary.

Kane is survived by his wife (Dee) of 50 years, sons Michael Kane of Saint Augustine, Fla., and Dr. Chris Kane (Beth) and their triplets (Jack, Addi, and Elli) of Jacksonville, Fla. A memorial service will be held in Danbury at the convenience of family with burial in the family plot at St. Peter's Cemetery in Danbury.

"I was born and raised in Portland and our family attended St. Mary's as parishioners," wrote another person his obituary page. "John was a friend of our parents and treated them, as well as my brothers and me, with kindness and respect. He spoke to everyone with kindness, sincerity, and honesty. I have met many priests during my life; he was one of the best, and a wonderful human being as well. He was able to accomplish a lot as a priest and probably even more as a husband, father, and grandfather."

Kane served two terms as President of the Florida Health Care Association, and many years as a member of that association's Board of Directors, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Health Care Association in Washington, D.C. He was a recipient of the Florida Health Care Association's prestigious Walter Johnson Award in 1997.

Yet another tribute of Kane: "You touched many lives, and left everything you touched better than before."

Xavier High School is a private, Catholic all-boys school in Middletown, CT, and a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School.